A postcard from Paris

Dear all,

Welcome to the start of part eight of our French Long March, and welcome to our new system of sending postcards.

We now have three types of readers: our stalwart friends, some of whom have been receiving our emails since 2003 (thank you for changing over to the new system); people from Denmark, New Zealand and the US who have found our website and are interested in walking in France and with whom we have exchanged some very interesting emails; and others who have anonymously subscribed to our system. To you all, it’s nice to have you along.

We planned to walk for six weeks. Over the past seven years we think we have made just about every possible mistake that can be made when walking in France. We hoped we had learned from these experiences and this year would be trouble free.

As you can see from the provenence of this postcard, this did not prove to be the case. Jenny had trouble with her eye which caused her to panic a bit, and may result in our coming home early for medical treatment. Meanwhile we have decamped to Paris.

We had a quite delightful week of walking in the department of Correze, following the beautiful Vezere river, from Terrasson to Treignac. We arrived from the depths of a Canberra winter, plunged into a heat wave, and ended up in a second ice age. The good thing was that we spent the hottest day of the year in a luxurious air-conditioned hotel at the village of Saint-Pantaleon, or Saint-Pantlin as we fondly call him (Keith’s surname).

The countryside is unbelievably green and fertile, sprinkled with charming villages, cherry trees, riverside cafes, and friendly, hospitable people. The camping grounds usually have cafes and are often beside artificial lakes, so we are well looked after.

We left the river at Treignac and walked 20 km to the hamlet of Lacelle, then impulsively decided to dash off to Paris because of Jenny’s eye. There was neither train nor bus out of this tiny place, so we were reduced to hitch-hiking. After a short time, a car stopped and to our amazement, out jumped some people we knew! We had met them at the camping ground at Treignac, at the “pot of welcome” put on by our genial host. These excellent people took us into Limoges and half an hour later we were speeding towards Paris. Six hours after starting to hitch, we were in the Paris camping ground eating a fine meal at the restaurant.

Since then we have had a couple of very enjoyable days being tourists in this familiar, beloved city. What lies ahead is as much a mystery to us as it is to you!

Finally, we love receiving your emails. However, given the time restraints we have to get on the net plus the rigours of using a French keyboard, it is very difficult for us to reply to all of them. So if you don’t hear from us directly from France we will reply when we get home.

The easiest way to contact us is via the email link on the top right hand corner of every page on this site.

Finally, we send our best wishes to our various sick friends – Peter G, Chris C, Mike L, Lyn W, Maureen M, and anyone else who has got sick in the last two weeks!

With love from Keith and Jenny